All the crew of Mars 500 thank you for your support and we have wished our anniversary! It’s been a year since we are cut off from the outside world in our modules and this week was an opportunity to take stock of the progress.
If I look back, this year seemed to me very short and very long at a time. When I think back to the period of training or work in my old car, I feel that this is an eternity as I left. For cons, the period of isolation seems to me – subjectively – very short since I have always worked on the same experiments in the same modules with the same 5 people in front of me for a year! The few special days (arrival on Mars, birthdays, fault simulation, etc. ..) still bring a little spice to our otherwise very routine life.
I now turn to the front and to the 150 days that separate us from the earth, clean air and our families. I then led the words of our psychologists who warned us: « The most difficult part of the insulation will return, especially mid-way. » In some irrational, almost visceral, I feel what they meant by « the return will be difficult. » Our days are no different than they were six months ago but it’s really harder. It’s hard to explain exactly « why » but one thing is certain: now that the unity of our crew is paramount. We never had any conflicts between us and this will certainly be an important factor in our success this November.
But do not step crickets! We take each new day as a new challenge and, step by step, we move towards our goal of 520 days = one round trip to Mars! :)
When selecting the ESA for the mission in March 500, the question « are you smoking » was asked but I do not know if it was playoff on the European side. In any case, if the question was asked, it was not the Russian side playoff because two candidates were smokers. These were not selected to participate in the mission but I do not think the cigarette was the reason.
As for our greenhouse is Alexander who is responsible but we all spend a little time on it. We all like to pick some radishes, peppers and salads that are good to eat!
I am enclosing the photo we took to celebrate the end of our 12th month in March 500 modules. Alexey remained bald one: we have more than a pirate. :)
It Would Be Hard to start a new isolation study of 520 days just one year after the end of March 500. However, if this WAS done in the study ISS, I would not hesitate to sign in! :)
We had no particular problems during the week when all communications with the base control was impossible. Since the beginning of our journey still, we have always had a lot of autonomy, with or without feedback from the base, we continued to perform the experiments planned by following established protocols.
If I could give one piece of advice, I think it would be: Always be busy. When we have very busy days at work, we focus on the tasks to be performed and the day passes very quickly. If we are in a period of low-level work, it is very important to have additional activities for not staying in his room brooding. I have several other tips that could be used for an applicant for a study of isolation, but « always busy » is probably the most important.
The « Greenhouse in Space » in our continuous modules 500 in March. One of our plants (Arabidopsis Thalania) gave seeds and these were planted in a new mini-greenhouse to see if they can in turn gives r new plants. I am attaching to this letter a picture of the seeds we have collected about two weeks ago.
I communicate almost exclusively with the teaching staff of the ESA is responsible for « Greenhouse in Space ». I regularly receive from them and updated the ESA website that is dedicated to this operation but I have no direct communication with the schools involved.
To receive additional information on this project, I think the best person to contact is « Shamim Hartevelt » (shamim.hartevelt @ esa.int).